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Journal of International and Global Studies

Volume 8, Number 1 (2016)

Editor's Introduction

Welcome to Volume 8 Number 1 of the Journal of International and Global Studies. We continue to increase our subscriptions to this free open access online interdisciplinary journal. If you would like to subscribe to the journal, just click on the Subscribe tab below the journal title. We will be sure to send you the web link to the journal so that you can read and download the essays and book reviews in accordance with your interests. You will also provide us with a database so that we can draw on your expertise for peer reviewing essays for the journal.

This Fall 2016 issue features four essays from a variety of different disciplines and 20 book reviews on globalization topics (defined broadly), a predominant theme of the journal.

The lead essay is co-authored by A. Peter Castro, an anthropologist in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and an Ethiopian scholar Goshu Wolde Tefera associated with the African and African-American Studies program at Syracuse. Their essay “Flag Politics in Ethiopia and the Ethio-American Diaspora” explores the symbolic and political meanings of the national flag in Ethiopia and its relevance to the Ethio-American community in Washington, DC. The Ethiopian flag has shifted its colors and iconic symbolism with different regimes following colonial rule by Italy, the government of Emperor Haile Selassie, and the later development of the socialist ruling regime of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and its promotion and policies of ethnic federalism. Recently, both Ethiopian and Ethio-American nationalists have challenged the symbolism of the current EPRDF flag that represents ethnic federalism. The Ethiopian and diaspora Ethiopian nationalists perceive this flag symbolism as evoking the fragmentation of their nation. The political tensions indicate the rise of a critique of the ruling regime and increasing nationalism in Ethiopia and is reflected in the same phenomena found within the diaspora Ethiopian community in Washington, DC

The second essay by Leopoldo Rodriguez and Shawn Smallman of the Department of International and Global Studies at Portland State University investigates the political polarization and conspiracy theories in Argentina that followed the death of Alberto Nisman. Nisman had been the lead investigator and prosecutor of the bombing of a Jewish community center in 1994 that killed 85 people. He was found dead by a gunshot in January 2015 just before he was scheduled to testify to Congress regarding his allegations that President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman had impeded an investigation against Iranian agents involving the bombing. The timing of Nisman’s death led to conspiracy theories implicating the government and elements within the intelligence services acting on behalf of Iran, Hezbollah, Israel, Zionists, and New York financiers. The authors draw on newspaper coverage, documentary films, books, and interviews by the co-author Leopoldo Rodriguez to explore these conspiracy theories. They acknowledge that at times true conspiracies do and have existed. They also mention that academics tend to disparage conspiracy theories, but that they are important to investigate because they can result in widespread moral panics and cause national and international political turmoil. The authors tie the conspiracy theories involving Nisman’s death to the divisiveness created by the internal political history of Argentina and to other regions of Latin American where various conspiracy theories have emerged.

The third essay is by Abiodun Joseph Oluwadare, political scientist at the Open University of Nigeria. He explores the origins, evolution, development, and impact of the terrorist group Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin Region in Northeast Nigeria. Oluwadare develops the thesis that the Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin subregion has had consequences for both national and international implications for terrorism in Chad, Niger, and Cameroon, and other regions of the world. He contends that Boko Haram has strengthened and reinforced a conservative Islamic political movement that contests the secular Nigerian state and has threatened internal security. Oluwadare describes the conditions that have resulted in the emergence of Boko Haram in Northeast Nigeria including pervasive poverty due to both negligence, unfairness, and the underdevelopment of education by both the past British colonial project and the current political elite in Nigeria. In addition, the proliferation of weapons resulting from intra-state West African wars that have percolated into the hands of groups such as Boko Haram. He notes how the undemocratic military dictatorships of the region have also created enormous problems leading to the insurgency. Of course, as Oluwadare mentions international investment and business has been stalled due to these terrorism developments. He describes how Nigeria has formed a Multi-National Task Force with soldiers from other countries in the region to combat Boko Haram. Additionally, Nigeria has received some international funding from the US and the UN to combat terrorism. He concludes that Nigeria must tackle the problems of underdevelopment in Northeast Nigeria and increase its security apparatus to inhibit the activities of Boko Haram.

The fourth essay is by Suwithida Charungkaittikul at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. She discusses her research project that involved evaluating the Office of Non-Formal and Informal Education (ONIE) that was based on the Non-Formal and Informal Education Promotion Act B.E. 2551 (Buddhist era). Using the multiple-stage sampling method, interviews with staff, learning networks, and focus group discussions Suwithida evaluates the outcomes of the Act for life-long learning. She used research instruments that were related to the influence of the organization and authority structures of ONIE to the effectiveness and implementation of the Act. Suwithida found that ONIE cannot provide full equal life-long educational opportunities for the people of Thailand because of insufficient funding, budgeting, and the limited number of partnerships. She recommends policy changes for the structure of ONIE and more funding to enhance life-long education in Thailand.

Volume 8 Number 1 also includes 20 book reviews dealing with global trends throughout the world; we intend to maintain this standard of generalized interdisciplinary readability for all of our essays and book reviews in future issues of our journal. We hope that you will subscribe to our journal to read future essays, review essays, and book reviews. We also invite you to submit essays, review essays, book reviews, and suggest possible book reviews for the journal.

Sincerely,

Raymond Scupin, PhD Director: Center for International and Global Studies Professor of Anthropology and International Studies Lindenwood University Email: Rscupin@lindenwood.edu

Essays

PDF

Flag Politics in Ethiopia and the Ethio-American Diaspora
Goshu W. Tefera and A. Peter Castro Ph.D.

PDF

Transformation in Lifelong Education in Thailand
Suwithida Charungkaittikul Ed.D.

Book Reviews

Editors

Chief Editor
Raymond Scupin, Ph.D., Director: Center for International & Global Studies,Lindenwood University
Associate Editor
Ryan Guffey, Ph.D., Associate Director: Center for International & Global Studies, Lindenwood University
Associate Editor
Joseph Cernik, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science & International Studies, Lindenwood University